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Canadiens vs Penguins Picks – Penguins Earn A Second Round Gift

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/29/2010 3:33:54 PM
NHL odds – Penguins in Six

Online betting handicappers were shocked when the Montreal Canadiens advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs by knocking off the Presidents’ Trophy winners, and Easter No. 1 seed, Washington. But the Canadiens aren’t really that dangerous; rather it was Washington’s failures that allowed them to advance. Jaroslav Halak is beatable and the Penguins have the experience and playoff savvy to take this series rather easily.

NHL betting odds: Penguins in Six

The Story

Halak was pulled at one point in favor of Carey Price in the Habs-Caps series but when he came back in, he stifled the Capitals in Games 4, 5 and 6 to guide the Canadiens to a shocking series win. But there’s a reason why Sidney Crosby is better than Alexander Ovechkin: he makes his team better and nobody can contain him.

The Penguins don’t have a better roster than the Capitals but they have a better goalie and they have a better blue print for how to win in the playoffs. That will be enough to top this challenge against Montreal.

Who Has The Edge On Offense: Canadiens or Penguins?

Sports betting fans know that the Canadiens really don’t have much offense and they were helped mostly by the Capitals netminders to get to this point. Between Jose Theodore or Simeon Varlamov, more than half of the Canadiens goals in the previous series would be stopped by a respectable goalie like Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Penguins don’t have a ton of weapons when you look at their roster but they do have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, which is by far and away better than anything that the Canadiens can offer. And those two stars make everyone around them better, which is a big problem for Montreal.

Edge: Penguins

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Canadiens or Penguins?

The Canadiens have the hot goalie in Jaroslav Halak but let’s be realistic: this guy isn’t the reincarnation of Patrick Roy. The Capitals were stymied because they didn’t crash the net very much and they took a ton of outside shots. But the Penguins aren’t going to do that; they are going to be all over him and he’ll be the Halak that we have to come to know before these last few games.

Best case scenario, sportsbook odds makers could say that the goaltending will be a wash. Fleury is one of the better goalies in the NHL and he’s experienced. Those Habs softies that went in last round won’t fly against Pittsburgh.

Edge: Even

Who Has The Edge In Experience: Canadiens or Penugins?

This is another area where the Penguins have the clear advantage. They won the Stanley Cup last year while they were in the Finals two years ago.

Montreal’s roster is very lacking when it comes to playoff experience and overall, their team is young. While they have handled it well so far, things will change for them in Round 2.

Edge: Penguins

Who Will Win The Canadiens or Penguins Series?

The Penguins have caught a number of gifts as the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds have been knocked off in the East, which leaves them as the top seed. They’ll now have home ice advantage all the way through the East, which is a surprise to them.

Nonetheless, NHL betting fans have to consider them as the big favorites as they have the experience, they have the best player in the playoffs and they have home ice advantage.

The Canadiens stunned the Capitals but they have no business being here. Halak or not, the Penguins won’t need seven games.

Pick: Penguins in Six



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